Four tips to help you maintain a high level of enthusiasm in both your personal life and career.
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Enthusiasm can only last so long before the star which shone so brightly begins to wane. It’s a natural human emotion and something which I’m sure we have all experienced at some stage, particularly if performing the same role for any significant amount of time. But don’t despair as there are many ways to restoke the fire and raise our enthusiasm levels through the roof! So, allow me to give you a few tricks that I use to get a kick of the BIG “E” (Enthusiasm) when I need it.
Tip 1: Remember the first time:
I once had an art teacher who always taught me to paint an object as if I were seeing it for the very first time. Reflecting on his teachings I know exactly what he meant. Have you ever been lucky enough to witness the expression of a child as they see a beautiful, freshly bloomed flower radiating all of its splendour in the sunshine on a perfect summer’s day? The child is in awe as they bear witness to one of nature’s most picturesque miracles, truly a heart-warming sight. What my art teacher was really saying was to take that ‘A-ha’ feeling and use it each and every time I painted… He was a pretty smart man my art teacher, and it was a lesson well learned. Every time before I do a keynote speech or conduct training or a workshop, I take myself through a process. I remember back when attending training courses, sometimes feeling lost, confused, and even overwhelmed at what was being taught. But then at that moment someone said something on stage which sparked me, and I recall how powerful and important that was to me at that moment in my life. I relive that exciting feeling I had in that moment all over again. I have conducted training classes many, many times, and I am always the sole teacher 100% of the time for 2-3 days straight. It would be difficult for me to muster the enthusiasm for the 17th, 23rd or 45th time delivering the training if I didn’t bring myself to the very first time I delivered. How fresh, how excited, how eager I was to diverge these sacred strategies. No matter the training number, I always bring the ‘A-ha’ for the first time, every time. So, for you, knock on every door, make every phone call, deliver every presentation, lead your staff meeting, attending the daily stand up, conduct retrospectives or spend time with your children, or date night with your partner with the same zeal, freshness, and enthusiasm as if it was first ‘A’ha’!
Tip 2: Giver mentality:
What if I told you to go and stand on a street corner and beg for money from strangers that pass by. How would you feel? Would you feel confident? Enthusiastic? I’m willing to bet the answer is no for many reasons, but none more so than the abrupt rejection from practically everyone you ask money from. Now allow me to present to you a similar scenario, with a slight twist. Return to the same street corner as before, but instead of begging for money you are now willingly handing $100 bills to the many passers by. Now I ask you, how do you feel? Excited? Happy? No doubt enthusiastic for the task at hand, as anyone would be. Instead of taking, you are giving, and what a gift! The truth here is these two scenarios demonstrate if you think you have value to share with people in the meeting or whatever interaction you make, no one can erase that enthusiasm.
Tip 3: Time travel:
Envision the transformation, that being the better feature made possible by your product or your service, or your solution, in advance. See and feel the difference you are about to make in others lives – be in that moment. Think that ‘I do’ before I ever begin a presentation or an important meeting and envision the better feature is being made possible because of it. Take the thrill of the ending, and I bring it to the beginning. This is a massive tip which I hope many will take inspiration from.
Tip 4: Go Method Acting:
As defined in Wikipedia, method acting is a range of training and rehearsal techniques that seek to encourage sincere and emotionally expressive performances. If the part needs you to be enthusiastic, then act enthusiastically. Soon enough, your inner energy will match your act. Many a time during the wear and tear of a day, I lack the motivation to take the important call, or to join the critical meeting, or to partake on any number of ongoing projects. This mentality even translates itself on a personal level when engaging with my own family. However, when I feel this way, I know to flick that enthusiasm switch, act with eagerness, interest, and passion and eventually, the BIG “E” kicks in – guaranteed.